A phoenix from the ashes

It’s time for the British Labour party in Scotland to end. Their party is over, their balloons bounce only because they are kept aloft by an alliance with big business and the City of London. British Labour wrapped itself in a Union flag and preached solidarity with the Tories and big business – remember that, never forget. There is no get out clause four, there is no devo-max or federalist jam. The solemn vow had evaporated long before it stained paper with the ink of the venal press printing machines.

Scotland must now refuse the worn out lies and brasso’ed necks of the Jim Murphys and the Magrit Currans – the man who whipped an egg up into a war, and the cereal woman who turns milk sour. Scotland must scoff at the platitudes of the visionless Gordie Broons and the Holy Wee Dougies – the one eyed man who made himself king by blinding his country with fear, and the creeping bejezuz of unchristian charity. They have used us long enough. Their victory will be pyrrhic.

There is no Scottish Labour party. There is a British Labour party which labours only to manage your expectations and keep the bosses happy. Every time they say that their name is Scottish Labour, they lie to you. Scottish Labour is nothing more than a brand label on a tin that contains Conservative policies. It’s a party whose great One Nation slogan is ripped off from 19th century Tories – British Labour is the backward looking clown face of progressive politics, a tape worm in the swollen belly of a Victorian working class child.

I’m proud of my city, Glasgow the city of Labour’s birth, and proud of those throughout Scotland who saw through the deceit and voted Yes. The referendum campaign was the Thatcher moment for the British Labour party in Scotland. British Labour’s cradle has rejected its accursed changling child. It will be rejected and despised.

British Labour’s party is over, but a new party is about to begin. One of the lessons to take from the second Scottish 45 is that the SNP alone cannot bring about independence. The idea of a single party leading a nation to independence belongs to the past century and in this modern age leaves the independence movement open to easy attack. It was all about Alicsammin. Or it will all be about Nicola Sturgeon or whoever takes over now that Alex Salmond has gracefully bowed out. The wider aims of the independence movement were lost in media attacks on SNP policies which the rest of us do not necessarily support. We cannot win an independence campaign if we all must agree to the policies of a single party. It must be a broad based coalition, and be seen to be such.

I have great respect for the achievements of Alex Salmond and the SNP for bringing the referendum about, and for opening Scotland to the opportunity to allow her diverse voices to talk, to sing, to laugh and debate. It’s because of them that we are here, and for that they are due our sincere thanks and recognition. But we need a party which can find its support amongst those on the left, those of us who do not consider ourselves nationalists but independentistas, those who have been alienated from politics. People who would never support the SNP.

One of the dreams I held and still hold for independence was a Scottish Labour party that really was a Scottish Labour party, a Scottish people’s party that was really a Scottish People’s Party. Independence was the magic key that would open the door. But now in the aftermath of the Second 45, I see that we can’t wait for independence in order to bring that party about. We must build our Scottish People’s Party now. It is a precondition of independence.

We must ensure that pro-sovereignty parties dominate in Scottish politics. It is only by reducing the British Labour party to an insignificant rump that we have the best chance of a future Holyrood with a majority of pro-sovereignty parties. We must replace Westminster’s useless windbags with MPs whose allegiances lie only with a party in Scotland and who will not sell out Scotland’s interests. We must punish those who stood outside supermarkets and grinned ear to ear after David Cameron called on his pals in the boardrooms to scare Scots with higher prices.

Common Weal people, Labour for Indy, left wing SNP people, peace campaigners, anti-poverty campaigners, Greens, Socialists, RIC activists, LGBT rights activists, disability rights groups – we need to band together and found a new Scottish People’s Party. A party firmly on the left, a party that is the true heir to the Scottish radical tradition coopted and traduced by the British Labour party. I willingly offer my services as a lippy bastert for the cause.

Our hopes have been scorched and torched by the parasites of British Labour for too long, but a phoenix shall rise from the ashes.



74 comments on “A phoenix from the ashes

  1. weecopey says:

    I’d vote for you Paul we need people like you, the Rev, Bella, Derek et al get to it and we will support you xx

  2. JimnArlene says:

    Paul, while I welcome you to the cause and I see the need for wholly Scottish parties, we as a nation owe a lot to the SNP.
    It is a mistake to see the SNP as a right wing party, they are plainly not; as their social policies will confirm, to the casual observer.
    However, there is a case for forming multiple pro-indie parties; who can run alongside the SNP ( in Westminster elections ), with the know they can’t win. This may sound crazy, but all parties standing for election have, election agents, polling agents and counting agents; whether they win or not. It is a way of ensuring, electoral fraud cannot take place.
    Just food for thought, after too much drink for thought.
    Still an idea….

  3. Rosa Alba Macdonald says:

    Your resolution amazes me given that you are so recently widowed. Our resolution amazes me.

    We keep the Yes brand/mechanism/fora/shop fronts (while we can as ports of call for all parties). We group according to skills and interests under WFI or RIC or NatColl or just oor ain party.

    Scottish People’s Party/Scotland Now Party/ Scottish Nation’s Party. We need to ensure the Nationalist/Nazi faux association is not used agin us again, however generational (Grannie Labour’s generation).

    An eye opener to see how many slightly older than me could not dissociate Yes from SNP, or extricate Alex from it all. And cut their nose off to spite themselves.

    Worse, of course, the factor of the degree to which Scottish Labour sold out, not to or for English gold, ermine or pats on the back (or not just for that) but for a fair whack of solely to beat the SNP – not Yes. For that revenge they would sell the future of my child, the children I teach, all children down the river and not for a holiday in Millport.

    That alone is corrupt.

    Worse yet that while Better Together were, perhaps, not inept but played a blinder in terms of deliberate disingenuousness and deliberate obfuscation so the atmosphere was wholly one of confusion and flux for a certain group of the population without access to or habit of internettery. They played a blinder, but a corrupt, dishonest, malfaisant, exploitative blinder, and while backed by English Gold, Better Together was Scottish Labour in name and albeit not exactly number (when they had to import…). They knew their core vote was vulnerable and played to those fears. They knew their core vote had limited access to information, so they commanded the sources to which they had access.

    The worst that Scottish Labour in their No Thanks regalia, hand in hand with the rank and rotten Westminster Establishment deliberately chose to conspire to mislead the minority – the Undecideds who might have swung a vote. The Vow wrapped up in bonnie front pages, authenticated by a timetable, too.

    This has made me so angry.

    And I am beyond proud of my resilient nation of countrymen who despite the multiple betrayals have said, Nemo me impunit lacessit: no one sells the future of our bairns, no one deludes the vulnerable and uninformed, no one burns the flag of my country.

    We are arisen. We will continue. We will win our sovereignty to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

    [I had thought this online identity – nom de plume – could disappear and I crawl gently away into my own life.]

  4. Rosa Alba Macdonald says:

    And we need a free weekly paper distributed to those who receive only mainstream media. Perhaps they could be distributed by/available on Stagecoaches, in Cooperatives, in big Yes-backing outlets…Hairdressers and Barbers shops.

  5. purplebadger says:

    While I absolutely agree destroying the British Labour party in Scotland should be a primary objective in the short term, is a new party the best route to achieving that goal? If we further split the pro-independence vote we risk defeating ourselves via first past the post. Given the general election is only eight months away (May?), the SNP, with its existing grassroots and organisation is surely the best vehicle for defeating them.

    Plus, while it’s fantasy, the idea of the SNP returning a significant number of MPs to Westminster, who might then be relevant in whether anyone in London is able to form a government, is pant wettingly amusing.

    In the longer term, perhaps the broad based coalition you mention could be achieved between the existing independence supporting parties, who have all reportedly received thousands of new registrations since Friday (though it does seem that the vast majority of those seem to have been for the SNP, which takes us back to the original problem of it all being about Alicsammin’s replacement). These are unchartered waters, but it’s very difficult to set up and establish a new political party.

    Could the SNP perhaps be persuaded to appoint a Green minister and adopt some of their (and the SSP’s) policies? A kind of national government. The electoral system for the parliament was intended to result in coalitions; perhaps we could have agreement amongst those parties to ensure a coalition of indy supporting parties can keep Labour out of power in Scotland.

    It’s a difficult one.

    • Criostoir says:

      That is the best idea ive heard so far. Agreed policy between indy parties and type of national government. This is what the people deserve..and its what the 3shades of tory party deserve too…and independence after that will be even sweeter cos Team Scotland will already be in place.By the way im Irish in Belfast but i think what yous have done is great, sad for you all that its gonna take longer tho. I would consider moving to scotland to help for the next push…and il bring my neighbours and relatives over and on to the electoral register too lol.

    • mary says:

      PB you need to check out Robin Macalpine’ s post on Bella yesterday. He discusses political strategy ‘re broad independence parties along lines of all YES groups plus voting SNP at the WM elections versus voting at Holyrood elections.

      • purplebadger says:

        Thanks, Mary, I’ll take a look.

        I do think voting SNP is the best chance we have of ridding Scotland of New Labour in the short term (i.e. 2015), however unpalatable some of their policies might be to those on the left. First past the post guarantees that. Let’s see how/if they change direction after Alex’s departure in November though; I’m optimistic Nicola may take the party in a slightly different direction, but I suppose it’s important to remember that part of the reason they did so well in 2011 was their broad appeal to both left and right, and any Scottish government is going to be severely hampered by Osborne’s spending cuts anyway.

        I have thought of a potentially serious consequence of Scotland returning no Labour MPs to Westminster though, which is that it’d probably accelerate the process of “English votes for English laws”, which is dangerous because it has the capacity to affect budget allocated to Scotland via Barnett.

    • Susan Seidel-Hood says:

      Yes I agree….setting up a new party at this stage is a distraction and will have the new labour election planners laughling with glee. I’ve joined the SNP in the last 24 hours. We need to maintain the broad church approach, with inter party discussions about strategy. Splitting the vote would be a disaster.

      • Steve Bowers says:

        I’m with you Susan, for me it’s a bit like letting Westminster watch while we divide and conqueor ourselves, they’d piss themselves laughing, the Scotland Alliance hinted at in the Herald today looks like the way forward to me, after that….. and Indy, every things up for grabs.

  6. fluffnik says:

    What we need to be sure of is that we only have one pro-independence candidate in each constituency, to avoid cannibalising our vote.

    If we all work together there are no safe Unionist seats.

  7. Jonathan says:

    I’m not trying to gatecrash (I’m Welsh, I live in Italy) but I’d just like to say that “we need to band together and found a new Scottish People’s Party” is the operative phrase. Grandmothers and eggs and everything, but many European progressive movements have been hampered by their inability to avoid the Pythonesque situation of People’s Front of Judea vs. Judean People’s Front. Can’t afford to let it happen here.

    Anyway, all the best. I’m doing my little bit to try to counter the appalling state propaganda here (which is scared witless of you lot invigorating the independence movements in the various Italian regions) by keeping friends and contacts informed of the real situation in Scotland. I saw the BBC Rome correspondent, David Willey OBE, last Sunday on the RAI news channel and his serene smugness nearly made me vomit.

    You (sing. and pl.) are an inspiration for many.

  8. mary says:

    Great post and I for one would back a lippy bastert, sounds great.
    Thanks for making me laugh again Paul.

  9. […] A phoenix from the ashes. […]

  10. Bob Leslie says:

    I think the idea of multiple sovereignty parties at Holyrood cooperating together as much as they can and SNP at Westminster neatly gets round the dangers of divisiveness under a first past the post system.

  11. jamie macdonald says:

    I can’t add much to the above comments, as I don’t know enough about political party starting.. but the will is there.. (here)..
    the free paper thing- could that be discussed with the Sunday herald team?..
    Boot Labour oot, aye, but also highlight the lords in every living room in Scotland, especially for when they are due to get these powers to piss on.. show the land owned, the allowances, the subsidies, the ‘get back in the job when you get out of jail free card!’ everything those gits sook from the country.. for farting about with our ‘powers’
    I was chatting online with someone about this, last week, she made the point -the local pensioners here used to have meals on wheels delivered by local volunteers cooked from fresh in local schools and hospitals.. in a cost cutting exercise the council now have frozen stuff sent from Manchester and heated, then delivered by council workers in brand new vans??…
    Living near the coast in Ayrshire we have fantastic local produce on our doorstep which could be feeding these folk. Which made me remember the local estates also round here, I worked on some of them from time to time and after these pheasant shoots, they can’t give the birds away, there are so many.. they rot and are fed to dogs. Apples too at this time, some years ago I was in an orchard of a local snooty and you couldn’t walk through it without standing on them… hunners… rotten. The land has to pay, and all the waste of that lot has to be put in B&W terms side by side with any austerity cuts, the food banks and the rising debt..
    I have to say Paul.. it is Fantastic to hear such an upbeat ‘bark’ !

  12. Jamie says:

    I think an entirely new party is a bad idea, as it would take a lot of work to set up. What’s more is that the SNP, the Greens and the SSP all have their own machinery of mobilisation set up, and I think that the fact that they work in different ways and appeal to different voters is useful. We need a broad-based coalition, rather than a new party (which would be a hellish job to set up, given that you’d have to persuade the SNP etc. to disband and then join it).

    I think that a better idea is to support all the pro-independence parties (plus anyone else who will join), but vote strategically. At Westminster, the SNP have the only good chance of winning and so we should all put our efforts into electing SNP MPs. At Holyrood, however, the parties and their voters need to cooperate to root out as many Labour and Lib-Dem (Tories might be tougher to crack) MSPs as possible. The pro-independence parties should be persuaded to govern Scotland in coalition, ideally.

    • purplebadger says:

      I agree, but we badly need to understand how to motivate people to vote SNP in UK parliamentary elections. I live in East Lothian where we have Labour members for both Holyrood and Westminster. The majority in the Holyrood seat was just 151 votes over the SNP, but in the Westminster election in 2010 it was 12k votes over the Tories in second place. The SNP were only in fourth place.

      I assume this is because people want to keep the Tories out of power in Westminster, so vote Labour as it’s them that have the best chance of making that happen. What we need to try and get across is that an even better situation than that is Labour needing SNP seats in Scotland to form a coalition government at Westminster. I can’t see Labour getting a majority at WM without Scottish members; let’s make sure the Scottish members it gets are SNP ones that have Scotland’s interests at heart rather than Labour ones that do whatever the leadership in London tells them to.

  13. Craig says:

    I’ve deliberately not commented on the referendum result until now to allow myself to draw a breath and let some of the emotion drain away. So here’s my tuppence worth… I’ve tried to be as neutral as I can

    Truth and reconciliation? How do we move on from Thursday? Given the strong views in both the “Yes” and “No” camps there is no way we are going to see a “well that’s the referendum over lets all work together” mind set prevailing. To get to that point there will have to be some healing done and some signs of progress. Things I’d like to see are:

    1. Full investigation of the assertion that BBC coverage of the referendum was biased. Rightly or wrongly this is a major issue. The “45” are mightily pissed off at what they perceive as blatant media bias from the state broadcaster. The “55” believe this not to be the case and counter
    claim that this was the default position of the Yes campaign any time there was unfavourable press coverage. So, lets clear the air and prove whether this was or wasn’t the case. If there has been institutional bias then lets start with an apology and then make sure that it is addressed going forward.

    2. Allegations of vote rigging have been rasied and I’ve seen some very unsettling footage of people acting in a very suspect manner. Lets find these people and ask them to explain their actions. Alternatively, lets expose the footage as fake if that is the case. It’s important that the
    air is cleared

    3. Promises of increased powers – these promises which were made have so far been short on detail and it already looks like the LabLibCon alliance is fragmenting – this is unacceptable and if we want to avoid another referendum (which I’m sure is the case for the “55”) then they, the “55”, have hold their spokespeople to account – it is their responsibility and they are the ones who need to be make it work and convince the “45” that the union can work.

    4. Stop the vitriol and the hatred – Calling people “quislings, traitors, nazis, facists” isn’t going to help. Neither is burning flags, assaulting people and making nazis salutes. People voted how they did for any number of reasons – if you want to win them over post referendum you do it by convincing them, not by condemning them. That cuts both ways. If you ever want to convince me that the “55” got it right you’re not going to do it by sending me pictures of Alex Salmond dressed up as Kim Jong Il, portraying my countrymen as heroin taking benefit junkies or ignoring my concerns.

    What happens if this doesn’t happen? What can the “45” do?

    1. Many of the “45” already cancelled their tv licence and until there is a full and transparent investigation of the BBC then I would have to endorse this view. Lets use it to fund an media of our own

    2. At the next opportunity to vote (UK General election 2015) organise and implement tactical voting to eliminate as many pro-union candidates as possible. This serves 2 purposes, it gives the “45” a voice in Westminster, 30-40 Westminster MPs is potentially a sufficient block to help form a coalition government which as part of the deal can help ensure that the promised increased powers are real and delivered.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Sounds good to me, Craig. Heading forward.

    • Chick McKenna says:

      A well reasoned expression of opinion and one which sits comfortably with my own. It is apparent to all but the biased observer that the ranks of the British Establishment had determined that the Yes campaign would not receive much by way of positive coverage, whilst the No campaign were allowed to promote, unchallenged, opinions as fact. the truth or otherwise of the opinions on both sides has still to be tested-but we can already see that the hastily cobbled together “Vow” which was trumpeted loudly by a supposedly left of centre newspaper has failed to survive its first day. The acrimony between the three parties is as obvious as it was predictable. And only the mass support given by the British press to help disguise their divisions helped the appearance of unity last till the vote was counted. I will not be voting Labour again-at least not in its current guise-but would equally find difficulty in joining the SNP. Like many others I suspect we are lost souls now condemned to wander around in a political maze for some considerabkle length of time.

  14. Lissa says:

    A phoenix from the ashes is exactly how I have thought of the situation, moving forward.

  15. That’s the spirit, folks. After Black Friday, we took the British state’s ‘knockout punch’ and we have already got ourselves up, shaken the dust off and re-entered the fray. Whilst the task is perhaps going to take longer than we envisaged, we have learned quickly. We’ve come back into the ring wiser and a lot harder. After my own musings on a quiet and reflective Friday night, I’m back with a new and powerful resolve and it seems like all of yesterday, Scottish cyberspace was thick with the rallying calls and the sound of our units reporting in with only superficial damage and news of a torrent of new volunteers rushing to bolster the rebellion.
    Regrouping is taking place as this discussion shows and already new strategies and tactics are emerging.
    Let’s welcome those who have exploited and betrayed our people to their long-dreaded nightmare of ‘Neverendum’ with the added bonus of driving the self-serving scabs of Westminster Labour out of every seat in Holyrood and every town hall across Scotland.

    It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day; and I’m feeling good!

  16. There is a fundamental paradox at the heart of the stance toward independence taken by the Scottish Labour Party. This is a party that espouses equality. An independent Scotland would provide it with a population with a permanent left-of-centre majority. A place where all of Labour’s policy aspirations and ideas could come to fruition. A place where there would not be a constant battle to justify social democratic policies in the face of a right-leaning press. A place with sufficient financial, natural and human resources to turn their vision into reality.

    Yet, from the outset, they turned their face against this opportunity. That is the paradox.

    Why did they make this choice? The massive anger toward the Scottish regional branch of the Labour Party, that has emerged since the referendum result, seems to be based on two explanations. There is a view that the party in Scotland has lost sight of, and lost touch with Scotland – it is dominated by their leaders at Westminster, and by the need to position itself to be electable in England. This is the ‘taken for granted’ explanation. A second perspective is that those who run Labour have gone over to the dark side, and have been seduced by money, power and the hope of a seat in the House of Lords. This is the ‘noses in the trough’ explanation.

    No doubt these explanations have some validity. However, impugning the motives of opponents is never entirely satisfactory, as political analysis.

    I would like to try to go deeper.

    I have been interested what things were like in British society in the 1950s (the world I was born into). What is clear from historical accounts of that era, is just how closely involved the Labour party was in running things – transport, mining, manufacturing, energy, media… Huge parts of the British economy were nationalised, and government ministers had direct responsibility for practical decision-making. Even a decade later, I can recall my first direct memories and interest in politics being stimulated by reading about the frequent need for ministers in the Wilson government to intervene in union-management disputes.

    All this changed, and was swept away. The nationalised industries were sold off. Labour politicians ceased to be people with any experience or interest in practical decision-making. By the time of the Blair government, central government politics had been reduced to two things: (a) broad-brush policies that would be implemented through budgets and legislation, and (b) management of the media (spinning). This is the political world in which the leaders of the Scottish Regional Branch of the UK Labour Party have learned to operate. It is a world in which politicians function within a bubble, separate from the population as a whole.

    But this approach is not what is needed in Scotland. Making things happen by sitting in a government office pulling the levers of power won’t cut it in a small country with a political system designed to make sure that parties work together for the common good. It won’t cut it, in fact, in any modern democracy with an educated population that has access to the internet. The deep metaphor for politics now is not Fat Controller. Instead, it is Borgen, it is ecology, it is flexible, creative problem-solving, it is politicians that you can bump into in the supermarket because they are part of your community.

    I believe that this is why Labour Scotlandshire turned their faces against the golden opportunity of a leadership role in a freshly-minted social democratic political playground. They wouldn’t know what to do with it. They don’t understand how to make things happen any more. Look at them – Lamont, Brown, Alexander – none of them seem capable of listening to other people, of working with people who they don’t control, of engaging in dialogue, of sorting things out in creative ways.

  17. I wholeheartedly agree that the Scottish branch of the Labour party deserves to wither and die, and efforts should be made to encourage anyone who still supports it to to switch to another party. I have previously expressed the hope that LfI might form the basis for a new party, and some replacement for Labour would be highly desirable if Scotland becomes independent, but I am not convinced that a new party is a good idea at this time. We need as many pro-independence MPs as possible after the next general election to keep up the pressure, especially as there is a good chance that neither the Tories nor Labour will win an outright majority next May.

    The suggestion that any new party should only put up candidates for Holyrood (and presumably councils) is a sound one; in any case, it seems unlikely that a new party could be in a position to effectively contest an election in not much more than seven months time. However, if a new party did manage to reach a stage where it had a realistic chance of winning seats, as an SNP member I personally would support an electoral pact with the new party. Ideally, for a Westminster election, whichever pro-independence party has the best chance of winning a particular seat should put up a candidate and the other pro-independence parties should ask their supporters to vote for that candidate. Perhaps a similar deal sould be done with regards to the constituency seats for a Holyrood election, as it is vital to have a pro-independence majority there.

  18. macart763 says:

    Yeah, sounds about right. 🙂

  19. johnney come lately says:

    Well you have done it again you old bugger! Unfortunetly I can’t find anything in this article to disagree with. Pisses me off as i like a good argument:) It’s not over to the fat lady sings. Salmond has always said that Westminster would have a larger headache with a no vote than a yes vote and it would appear the old fox was right:)


    Please allow me to post this link to Bella. In advance thanks.

  20. gerry parker says:

    Well, at least there should be some jobs coming to Scotland as a result of the No vote. There’s 1,617,989 wounded to be bayonetted. I wonder if Ian Davidson will get Mags Curran, Johan Lamount, Ian Carmichael and Jim Murphy to help, wee dougie alexander could bless the endeavour as a son of the manse. They could all recruit their teams of labour activists from better together, and I’m sure the O/O and the BNP would love to assist.
    Much easer job than the last time, when there was six million to dispose of.

  21. Any pro independence bloc in Holyrood will need to stand up to increasing attack from Westminster to the point of ignoring or vetoing decrees from London.
    We must do this in a spirit of defiance and solidarity.
    Likewise, the people must take responsibility for the survival of our parliament, surrounding and defending it physically if necessary.

  22. Marian says:

    I see comments everywhere saying that 54% of under 65″s voted YES – if true its a monumental time-bomb under the union.

    The SNP has seen a massive surge in membership since Thursday see http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/sep/snp-membership-spikes-over-30000

    Greens have also gone up by 1800 new members since Thursday.

    45% voted for Scotland to be independent and if Westminster thinks for one minute that they are going to meekly accept a 55% majority thst was only obtained by Westminster and its media lackeys lying and cheating all the way through the campaign, then they had better think again.

    YES campaigners should now urgently re-unite to form a new political force (a new political party even?) even stronger than it was complete with streaming TV and Radio and online news to rival and even better the British media in every way to reach out with a message of truth to the people of Scotland that makes it the number one choice for viewing and listening to news and current affairs in Scotland.

    Then this new political force campaigns like never seen before to make Scotland’s Westminster MP’s unionist free at the May 2015 UK General Election.

    We’ve already done it to the Tories, the LibDems just need one last small push, and now the Westminster Labour party in Scotland are ripe for eradication too.

    Gordon Brown probably knows that Labour are now on a shoogly peg in Scotland which is why he is trying one last smoke and mirrors con-trick to try and save Labour’s neck.

    Once Scotland returns every MP as one who wants full political and fiscal autonomy we have an unstoppable political weapon to get exactly what we want.

  23. Sashadistel says:

    Just a couple of thoughts.
    When we tried to open a hub in this area to offer people information

    a/ due to Labour Council policies we could not rent the empty shops as they would not lease them ( a neutral stance)

    B / when we tried to put up posters , due to Labour council policy , we weren’t allowed

    C/ when we tried to advertise in the local Johnson press, due to the well known affiliation of the woman we spoke to ( Labour) we were given the run around resulting in the advert being run too late.

    D/ when we tried to rent one of the few available privately owned shops, the pro union owner said – not on your life.

    This to me is where one of the real problems lie. You are thwarted trying to get the message out yet at the same time paying to maintain this system.

    I saw the Orange Order march last week. Approximately 15,000 marched. 10,000 from Scotland, yet the OO claim to have 50.000 members here.So where were the remaining 40.000 ?

    While I despise the likes of Douglas Alexander cynically trying to weasel his way into ‘ the energy of the Yes movement’ in an attempt to obtain info for a future Labour campaign, he at least you can see through. The underlying placemen/ women whether they be Labour or Orange sitting quietly in the background but in places of influence needs to be tackled.

    If people want to be in the OO or the Labour Party that is their right, what they should not be able to do though is use those positions to thwart other peoples democratic rights.

    Ps. I like lippy basterts.

  24. Reblogged this on rallyforthenorth and commented:
    Masterful deconstruction of the pitiful vehicle for conning people and keeping the toffs in charge that the Labour Party has become.

  25. Sashadistel says:

    Forgot to say , so proud of the people of Glasgow/ Dundee / inverclyde . You are one of the reasons I for one will not give up

  26. J Galt says:

    A INDEPENDENCE FEDERATION organising on-going propaganda and events which will have the SNP, SSP, Greens and whatever can be formed from the wreckage of Labour as members.

  27. Fairliered says:

    For the 2015 Westminster election, could the SNP, SSP and Greens agree to select one candidate between them for each constituency? This would have the advantage of showing that independence is not just about the SNP or Alicsammin (or his successor). The parties could divide up the constituencies to maximise their strengths.
    For example, the SNP could continue to target North Ayrshire & Arran, and Kilmarnock & Loudoun, where they are strongest. The SSP could contest Central Ayrshire, where they would do well, and the Green Party could contest Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock. All independence supporters could work together to support each other’s candidates, building on the spirit and friendships developed during the Yes campaign. It would send a powerful message to Westminster that they can’t divide us.

    • purplebadger says:

      This seems like a good idea to me, but requires a degree of cooperation between the parties which may be beyond them, since the SNP, Green, and SSP visions of an independent Scotland are all very different. Hoping that they’ll be able to cooperate and share resources and campaign/canvassing data on the ground may be too optimistic. Plus the SNP is way more advanced in terms of grass roots organisation than the others so it’s likely they’ll have to make the most concessions, and as we all know, politicians’ egos – even if they’re the politicians we want to win – tend to come first so expecting them to stand aside in favour of candidates from other parties may also be optimistic.

      An unpalatable view right now, to be sure, but the other thing I have some sympathy with is the idea that we have just had a referendum which has resulted in a reasonably decisive result (though certainly not the killer blow Darling and his ilk expected). While I don’t think we have to wait “a political generation”, whatever that actually means, for the subject to be back on the agenda, I do think we have to accept that we lost and not ignore that and press on without reflection. There were undoubtedly problems with the Yes campaign and its proposition (not least that many of us like me were novice political campaigners). We should seek to learn from mistakes made, not make them again when we do next get the opportunity, and consider taking professional advice from out with Scotland – a grassroots campaign cannot on its own win. In these days of professional politicians and political advisors galore, we need to consider taking advantage of what’s on offer to us, without relinquishing that which makes our movement unique and special.

    • That is a good idea. A new party would simply split the vote and play in to Westminster hands. We have thousands of activists now, who know how to campaign, how to canvass, target, talk to people. One agreed candidate in each constituency, say under an SNP-Commonweal, SNP-Green etc branding.

      Of the pro-independence parties only the SNP has the organizational structures to do the heavy lifting. That’s just a fact. But that doesn’t have to work in the service of SNP candidates alone, provided we can agree a common front. The ethos of the Common Weal is entirely in line with the wishes of the vast majority of the Scottish people, including many many No voters, and should form a major part of any joint project

      1.6m votes plus concentrated on single pro-Scottish candidates in each constituency under the Westminster first past the post system would drive the Unionist parties out of representation in Scotland.

      In 2015 the British Parties will be fighting each other for Westminster seats. They won’t be able to present a common front. They won’t be able to bus activists up or staff UK wide Labour Party phonebanks to frighten the pensioners.

      Remember that the Crofting Laws, which ended the clearances, were passed by a hung Westminster parliament with Land League candidates breathing down the Liberals’ necks. There were just 5 Crofter’s Party MPs. We can send 50+ if we work together, maybe 58.

      Holyrood will need a different tactic, maybe SNP candidates in constituencies and Green/SSP on the lists. But for Holyrood the British parties will be able to bring their colonial assets to bear and that’s harder. PR makes it harder to keep pro Union MSPs out..

      Westminster 2015 should be the absolute priority. Not to gain another referendum, immediately, because the pensioners would lose it again. But to reduce unionist representation from Scottish constituencies to the absolute minimum. We need to hold their feet to the fire without mercy to gain maximum devolution of taxation WITHOUT a Barnett/Trap. Ideally full tax raising powers including oil revenues with a sum remitted to Westminster. To gain full devolution of social security. Which then allows the institutions to manage these functions to be fully in place.

      We removed the blue Tories without any sort of pact or standing a single candidate in each constituency. We can easily remove the red and yellow Tories too. But we need to think strategically

      Declaration of interest. I am in the SNP, albeit I haven’t been that active for years. Would probably vote Green if we were Independent. First things first

      • johnm55 says:

        Sounds like a reasonable plan, except for the fact that political parties find it difficult to give up their little bits of turf. I don’t see an SNP candidate standing down in favour of a SSP or Green candidate any more than I see an English Tory standing down in favour of a UKIP candidate.

      • Meaban Beag says:

        I am a lifelong SNP supporter and voter. I only actually became a party member during this campaign and did my little bit, If such an alliance were built for Westminster only, I would actively support and campaign for ANY independence supporting candidate from any party, and I can guess that many more would make this commitment

        . During the campaign I realised that I had far more in common with the other YES people than divided us. I’ve had my few hours of exhaustion Find a battlefield and I am ready to go again. I’m free this weekend 😉

    • David Murray says:

      think you have nailed it on head

  28. Iain Hill says:

    Glad to see you’re back in action and with such fire. I agree with all you say, indeed I feel you must have been in my head scraping out the contents.

    But reflect on our tactics! One of the things which strikes me (age 69) is just how credulous and douce many of our older people are. They are naturally respectful and neither can see anything wrong with our current system nor would they believe it if told. Perhaps this is WW2 etc which I just missed

    We much get rid of Scottish Labour, but our line must be that they have walked away from true Labour values, not us. Otherwise they will fall back yet again on the old shibboleths of Labour which none of them remotely believe. Let’s constantly challenge them not against the false values against which they seek to be judged, but against true concern for the people.

    How many of them have given from their own deep pockets to Shelter, or to a food bank? How many have personally helped young people in trouble? How many have real ideas to narrow Piketty’s poverty gap in the immediate future? How many have financial interests in the privatised industries? Etc, etc.

    We need a constant onslaught on them attacking their total rejection of us and our poorer co citizens. Miliband is concerned with the squeezed middle. We need took after those, many of them Scots, at the bottom of the heap.

    Take care.

  29. Mrs Topp says:

    Why don’t you become an MSP? You could be independent, -an independent independenista, or ‘ii’ (as opposed to an ‘oo’). You could do an informative parliamentary blog as Paul K, then continue to dish the dirt as Ginger Dug.

    Whilst you compile the posts for your book, your policies will become apparent.

    Go on go on!

  30. bjsalba says:

    I am writing to my MP along the lines of what you may have seen on WoS as follows:
    I am putting him on notice that I will never vote him again. This is the direct result of the appalling campaign run by Better Together. The level of straight out lies and deliberate distortion was nauseating. Frightening the most vulnerable groups in our community with lies was a tactic that is utterly beyond the pale.

    I will be working strenuously for whatever candidate has the best chance of taking his seat from him – even if that person is not in the party I currently support.

    We have been discussing things by e-mail, phone and local small meetings in our homes. We will be meeting soon as a larger group to get things rolling for the general election.

  31. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Agree with all of the above. What happened on Thursday has only hardened my resolve to change our society for the benefit of all not just the few. In the shorter term we can and should create a country which is effectively independent – by ensuring a strong Parliament in Edinburgh with the aim of full fiscal autonomy.
    We should be inclusive to members of the Scottish Labour movement – but only if and when it has shed the baggage of Lamont, Sarwar, Murphy, Davidson, Alexander, Curran, Wilson, Darling and Brown. They have all shown their disdain for Scotland and at least half the people of Scotland. They can have not role in this “coalition” we wish to create.

    Never forget what they said about 1.6 million Scots. It started with Johann Lamont last year saying that the referendum would be a chance to “eradicate the virus”. Then Ian Davidson talked about the supporters of independence needing “bayoneted”. Then we had Alistair Darling not disagreeing with the description by a Spectator journalist of Yes as “blood and soil nationalism”. This was followed by a prospective Labour MSP, Kathy Wiles, comparing a photo of children attending a Yes event in Glasgow to Hitler Youth and having to resign as a consequence. Then we had Brian Wilson calling people like us “fundamentalist” on Radio 4 the week before the referendum – in my view a clear and deliberate attempt (along with Tessa Jowell calling us “insurgents” yesterday) to link the Yes movement with some form of extremism and fitting it into a New Labour narrative of attempting to link Yes to fascism. How does one ever reconcile that?!

    Something like Common Weal would be good at coordinating it all – but we must also encourage all the other grass roots organisations – Women for Independence, Business for Independence, National Collective, Bateman Broadcasting, NHS for Independence, Radical Independence, etc. – to keep going too in some form or other.

  32. neilghani says:

    What’s wrong with the SSP?

  33. Mick Pork says:

    With the greatest respect Paul I’m afraid we don’t actually need another party as the astonishing events of the past couple of days show. SNP, Green and SSP memberships are rocketing through the roof. ‘Scottish’ labour are, right this second, staring into the abyss.

    I admire the idealism behind your thoughts Paul but politics is the art of the possible. You already know that another party would hardly stop the westminster media focusing like a laser on the SNP. We had three excellent alternative advocates in Patrick, Tommy and Denis and, what a surprise! the media ignored them as much as they could. So would it be for any other party.

    Nor do I consider the SNP any kind of ‘tainted’ brand or purely nationalistic myself, no matter how much scum like Dacre and the Daily Mail try to smear us. Nicola will help massively in proving that to any doubters.

    You want a party to the left of labour then you already have one in the SSP.
    You want a new labour party reformed then the only way that’s going to happen is after independence. Labour for Indy are marvellous advocates but they will only come into their own when there is an actual scottish labour party after Indy and not before. I’ve seen for too many ‘Judean People’s front’s’ come and go to be sanguine or unrealistic about the chances of another party of the left myself.

    Why not choose from one of the parties yourself Paul? Join in with the astonishing groundswell going on right this second? The numbers joining the Greens, SSP and SNP are truly mindblowing.

    ANY of the three would surely welcome someone as erudite, caring and committed as yourself Paul. I for one would only be too happy to go and see you representing them and Yes at the next series of town hall meetings when the next Independence Referendum happens.

    • Agree with this. Time is of the essence. Look at the Ashcroft figures. 72% of No voters made up their minds a year and more before the referendum. The general election is only eight (?) months away. At this, more voters may make up their minds nearer the time, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Setting up a new political party takes years…and finance. Plus, of course, knowledge of the political system. Whether you want to change it or not, you need to know how it works, have people with expertise in various fields, get policies agreed, research what people want, what moves them. Then you have to sell your party and its leader to the public, so they can have confidence in voting for them.

      The SNP has been at this a very long time. Hamilton, its first big breakthrough, was in 1967, nearly 50 years ago. Only in 2007 did they reap any real parliamentary success.

      I’m not saying forget it. It’s fantastic you have that enthusiasm. Much is up in the air at present. Discuss it by all means, make plans. But it needs to be kept on the back burner meantime. Perhaps until the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.

      Meanwhile, your talents are needed. Join whichever of the existing political parties most closely meets your thinking – don’t expect to agree with all the policies of any. As a member you can always work from within to change policies you don’t agree with. The experience will stand you in good stead should you then want to set up, or move, to a new party.

      It’s so great to have these online discussions buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm, just days after the vote. But when the fury and determination are there, they need to be harnessed for the next push.

  34. Bamstick says:

    I don’t know much about politics. I’ve only become interested in the last 6 months so I apologise if what I say is drivel.
    I don’t think we can spend the time developing a new party for Scotland. I think we need to strengthen those that we have. Those that are pro-Independence and that held together for the referendum could continue in this vein. But we, the people, need to join them and support them so that when we next vote in 2015 we have the best chance for success.
    I’ve just joined the SNP, main reason was the cost of membership. The Green party was a bit dear for me and I’m a bit frightened of Mr Sheridan. All that shouting!!!!

  35. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you for this post Paul. It is great how everyone is back. We face a big challenge trying to work out the best way to proceed. Like everyone else I will be giving myself a headache thinking about it. At the moment I think we are sort of at the brainstorming stage. I’m struggling for words but I know we need your input and your presence. It was a treat to find that you had posted again today. I went to my emails more in hope than expectation.

  36. Gordon says:

    Great article again. My own thoughts mirror the idea put forward by a few SNP MSPs. For Westminster elections, form a ‘collective’ of the people who were part of any of the Yes campaigns. Whether SNP, Greens, SSP, commonweal, National Collective, etc., we could try to harness the votes, optimism and already present grassroots system. As Scottish MPs are largely ignored unless they’re labour ones supporting their high heid yins, it’d be good to get some new voices in to the commons that will question things and remind the mainstream that we’re still here. Plus it would be great to take out a mass of ‘Scottish Labour’ MPs! As far as policy, I don’t think that’d be a big issue due to the lack of direct laws affecting Scotland. Our role would be more being a big thorn in their side. A constant reminder of the need for change.
    At Holyrood, all political parties can stand independently.
    Oh, and I think a Scottish government should fill the role of Scottish Secretary of State. Then it’d be Scotland’s representative in the UK cabinet rather than the other way around.
    How does that sound?

  37. Christine says:

    I joined the SNP last year, the only reason being that I wanted so much to see my people free.
    Alex and the rest of the party were streets ahead with their promise of a better Scotland.
    I will be renewing my membership, giving them a chance and hopefully their policies will reflect my hopes for the future.
    As for the Labour party never again will I vote for them, I hope they don’t come canvasing at my door as my anger will take a long time to disperse.
    Please don’t go, Wee ginger dug, and keep on biting.

  38. maybolebuddie says:

    Paul, you failed to mention women for independence in your blog, we require this group to be at the forefront of our new way forward!

  39. A question for maybolebuddie. How does anyone actually join WfI? The website doesn’t indicate any ‘join here’ section. As a result I have given up numerous times. Somewhat off-putting.

  40. Clare says:

    I think that we should set a short term goal of giving Labour a spectacular kicking in May because it will be immensely satisfying to watch the public humiliation, one by one, seat by seat. I can hardly wait. It would also show that it can be done, that we have the votes and the organisation.

    I think the vehicle for that has to be the SNP – with all its faults. We simply can split up the 45 at this stage. I’m not even sure a party as we know is ever going to be the answer for real change.

    After that we can think again about real change. But for now, I can’t see past my anger at that shower of greedy, lying, self-serving toads.

  41. Clare says:

    sorry, ‘can’t split up’ obviously

  42. Whitburnsfinest says:

    Paul, you know I’m well and truly up for the position of Deputy Gobshite of whatever party we form. As it is, I’ve never before wanted so badly to yell in the face of a Labour councillor that their party is dead, they’re utter scum and to please join the orderly queue at the dole office pronto (I said please, my Granny brought me up to mind my manners you know :))

    Never felt this mix of anger and determination quite as strongly in my life.

  43. Jan Cowan says:

    I’m really enjoying seeing all the ideas coming together. Must say I believe the removal of the British Labour Party in Scotland should be the initial target. If those with political knowledge and skill can work out the best possible method to achieve this, I’ll gladly offer whatever help I can. I’m already a member of the SNP and certainly intend renewing my membership but I did find it heartening to see so many people of differing political views come together under the YES banner.

    I’m so happy to see that we’re all still working towards Scottish Independence. And it will happen. That’s sure!

  44. You can find out here who your representatives are.


    Now is the time to start harassing them to find out out about the timetable, what civil service department is in charge of it, why has the timetable slipped.

    This is the start of the next campaign

  45. Angus says:

    I would reckon that the 2016 Scottish parliamentary elections is the place to elect RIC, Women for Independence and other grassroots bodies who have been part of the wide body of the all inclusive Yes movement.

    I would certainly use both a first or second Holyrood vote for pro Independence parties and the 2016 allows the Independently minded time to convert the grassroots in a joint bid for election across all parties from the SNP to radical Independence national Collective and even large Yes campaign potential candidates as well, people rejuvenated by the campaign for Independence in participating in politics.

    I would definitely think that with a few exceptions it is the SNP vote for the Westminster election in May 16, as having real and current opposition ability and success already who can make the real inroads against Labour, who stood shoulder to shoulder with the tories to oppose Independence.

    Paul states correctly that Labour are finished in Scotland, but they will still play as hard as they can and as nastily as required and not give a fuck what they tell those willing to listen to their pish, so they need that extra guaranteed boot the the political crutch at westminster and Scotland needs to follow through with a constitutional thistle covered Doctor Martens.

    That would be half the job done in eight months then onward to Holyrood 2016.

    Am I so far wrong here?

  46. HelenEarth says:

    While I agree with what you are saying and I think this idea is fine for the next Scottish election, we will not win first passed the post seats in a UK general election if we split the Indy vote. We have to be smart and that means being tactical. That said I’m very pleased you’re staying on board, although I would like to see you finish your project. I had promised myself time, pro Indy, for all sorts of Arty pursuits but sod that , I’m now a radicalised subversive and proud to be so.

  47. etiennic says:

    Hi – have really enjoyed your posts in the run up to the referendum – just wanted to ask – isn’t the Green party the party you’re looking for? – it’s already there, it’s internationalist in outlook, its policies are based on social justice and ecological sustainability – what’s not to like?

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